OREANDA-NEWS. Head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, USA), James Bridenstine, signed the Artemis Accords with representatives of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, and the United Arab Emirates. The ceremony was held in a virtual format as part of the International Astronautical Congress.

Bridenstine noted that the proposed by the USA agreements are largely based on the principles of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The task of the new agreements is to strengthen and implement in practice the obligations enshrined in the Treaty.

In the spring of 2019, NASA announced the draft of the lunar program Artemis, which will consist of three stages. The first of them (2021) provides for the unmanned flight of the spacecraft Orion with the help of the rocket Space Launch System around the Moon and its return to Earth. The second stage (2023) is a flight around the natural satellite of our planet with a crew on board. In the third phase of the mission, NASA expects to land astronauts on the Moon in 2024, and then send them to Mars approximately in the middle of the 2030s.